MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As part of efforts to support environmental protection, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications piloted its #PlanetSmart initiative at the recently concluded SarBay Festival, a summer beach festival held every year in Sarangani Province. #PlanetSmart encouraged Smart subscribers who attended the beach festival to collect and properly dispose of their recyclables.
During the four-day SarBay Festival celebration, customized containers, shaped like the marine animals found along the protected area of Sarangani Bay, were set up in the main event area. The bins were connected to electronic sensors that sent out SMS each time plastic bottles and empty cans were put in the containers. These text messages informed the festivalgoer that he/she has received free Smart Load. Collected recyclables would then be sold and proceeds would be given to public school beneficiaries in the province.
“One thing that Sarangani is known for is its dedication to the environment. This commitment is clearly reflected in the SarBay Festival and it’s what makes this annual event unique,” said Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion at the sidelines of the festival.
The recycling bin prototype is the winning concept from last year’s MVP Geek Olympics, the PLDT Group’s annual employee-centric innovation competition. The said event is a brainchild of PLDT Innolab, the group’s incubator for startups and developer communities that want to scale extensible partnerships.
Following its win at MVP Geek Olympics, the prototype was further refined and enhanced by technology specialists from Innolab, allowing it more features and capabilities, ultimately staying true to their vision of uplifting the local condition through technology.
“PLDT Innolab has always aimed to support the country’s development by creating solutions that promote inclusivity and sustainability. We look forward to using our resources to further drive greener and more sustainable initiatives for our country,” said first vice president and enterprise core business solutions head Jojo Gendrano.
For the #PlanetSmart initiative, Smart partnered with members of youth group Sulong Kabataan, who collected recyclables and encouraged fellow festivalgoers to drop off their trash in the designated #PlanetSmart bins.
Smart also teamed up with the Sulong Tribu organization, which mounted an urban gardening exhibit using recycled plastic bottles and old Smart tarpaulins. The group held an exhibit displaying upcycled tarp bags and donated these to public schools within Sarangani.
Smart brand TNT and parent company PLDT provided connectivity support and featured exciting events during the festival, such as Pinta sa Baybayon Showcase, Bay Bodies 2019, DJ Battle, TNT Foam Party headlined by This Band and Kat DJ, and sporting competitions such as volleyball, jet ski, and mountain bike challenges, among other activities.
More than 150,000 people attended the three-day festival, according to the Saragani provincial government.